Behringer Eurodesk SX324217 Analog Mixer Review

With 26 channels at your disposal, the Behringer Eurodesk SX3242FX is a quality analog mixer for its price range, which is neither insanely expensive, nor dirt cheap.  In terms of price, the Eurodesk SX3242FX is essentially right in the middle, and so it is out of reach for some, but plenty accessible financially for anyone who really needs it for any given mixing task.  This would include people with their own studio, those who organize various types of shows such as schools, churches, festivals, etc.  If you need a dedicated mixing board, and you don’t want to blow a ton of cash, I think that this one has you covered. 

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Behringer, as most people who know music gear know, is a name you can trust, for the most part…  I mean, not all of their products are flawless, but therein lies the bargain.  Here you get audio gear you can actually afford, that offers lots of value, but you might run into the odd issue.  Though there are certainly larger mixers out there, for most, this mixer does offer a lot to your average user, which I’ll get into presently.

The Sound

First and foremost, you get 24 Xenyx mic preamps, which produce a clean, warm sound with little noise.  That’s a lot of mics, but when it comes to certain situations, every last one can quickly be used up.  Take a choir for example.  To mic an entire choir, 24 mics can be quite useful.  If the choir is overly large, it may not even be enough (unless you get creative with the mics).  If we’re talking a school choir of average classroom size, or a Sunday service choir, then this one will do just fine.  Or imagine a full band, where some of the instruments need more than one mic on them.  It could be a marching band, a rock band, or any large band that is in need of a properly mixed sound during a performance or recording situation. 

I personally use mine in a classroom setting, as I am a high school teacher.  Here’s a picture of mine below complete with stylish green tape!

We should mention, the sound on this unit is quite “honest”, so that means that it gives back what you put in.  If your mics suck, or the people playing aren’t up to snuff, the Eurodesk SX3242FX can’t fix a bad performance.  So, not to rant, but the rest of your gear has to be decent for your sound to be any good.  Many a time has someone in a rock band blamed the sound engineer when the fault lies squarely on the band.  Get your act together, for the love of God!  Anyway, I must digress.  There are plenty of bells and whistles here to make certain things sound “good”, but don’t expect miracles.  It’s up to the audio engineer.  Personally, I find a “transparent” sound to be the only sound worth having.  If there are any flaws in the performance, I want to hear them.  If the levels are wrong, I should only be depending on my ears to get things the way I want them.  The Behringer Eurodesk SX3242FX won’t lie to you, unless you add too many effects.

More Features

Ok, back to features.  Again, having 24 mic pres at your fingertips can be a quite an asset to any sound engineer, whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in the business a while.  Many people who have used this line of mixers before will return to it because it is so dependable.  For some, this mixer won’t be enough.  If you’re a producer, and you take these things very seriously, you might need something bigger.  I’ve never seen a legit recording studio where you walk in and the only mixer they have is this.  Just won’t cut it.  Take my advice and clean it often and make sure no dirt or grit stays on there long.  It’ll fall through the cracks and then you’ll start running into problems.

The lifespan of the mixer can long, if you’re careful with it.  The construction here is sturdy but not unbreakable.  In other words, it won’t damage easily unless you’re lugging it around and tossing it in the back of your van every night, or unless you spill coffee on it – this mixer doesn’t need anyone to spill a pint of beer onto it, let me tell you.  Let’s put it this way – this mixer won’t break on it’s own, but if you are travelling on the road and the conditions are iffy, the Eurodesk SX3242FX can’t be left in the cold, or the extreme heat, or be exposed to moisture, or be tossed about like some gear.  So again, be nice to it, and it will be nice back.

In addition to the mic pres, you get 4-band EQs (1 per channel), plus 4 aux sends (per channel), and 4 mix groups.  These allow you to make mixes within mixes, using the busses provided.  There are also 99 different effects, including delay, reverb, chorus, and many more.  This unit runs a dual effects processor, where the 99 effects can be accessed from.  For the price, this is where a lot of the value lies.  You can mix an entire band, use effects, and basically have “pro” sound without breaking the bank.  It’s not a bad deal!   Also, I should mention that there are LED meters on the main output so you can never lose track of your levels.  If the mix is off, these lights will let you know.  In addition, you will find that each channel, group, and bus has its own insert point. 

The Look

I almost forgot to discuss how this unit looks, because some people do care about that kind of thing.  Basically, as far as aesthetics go, it is an old school, rather rugged looking mixing board that recalls mixing boards of old, with a modern twist.  This unit is perfect for anyone doing live sound on a budget, and especially those who aren’t studio rats, and maybe have never encountered a mixer like this before.  It isn’t overly intimidating, and the setup of the mixer is quite logical, so newbies can get the hang of it fast.  In many situations, you may not have a total pro behind the board (think of your average rock gig at a bar or club), and in those scenarios, it’s better that the audio person isn’t completely overwhelmed when it comes to the gear in front of them.  That is partly what makes the Eurodesk SX3242FX so perfect, because it can be learned quickly by almost anyone.  Gigs of all sorts can be helmed by this mixer, as it is perfect for in studio use as well as use on the road, so you can do as your needs require.  

Watch this cool video featuring the SX3242FX to get a closer look.

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